Monday, May 26, 2008

The Birth of the Sprouts Part One

We got pregnant by in-vitro fertilization in early 2001. The dr. got four fertilized eggs to put back, but told us they were “low-quality” whatever that means, and didn’t hold out much hope that they would implant. 3 out of 4 did! I went on bed-rest in mid-May, just after I received my bachelor's degree – wasn’t going to miss out on the ceremony, since I was 36 years old and had waited that long to finish college! I had contraction monitoring equipment that I had to use twice a day and send the data by phone to a company called Matria. The whole thing was going just great! No excess contractions, no diabetes, no high-blood pressure. The babies were all growing fine, had no life-threatening chromosomal defects, and no apparent other problems. My perinatologist was going to schedule a c-section around the middle of October at 36 weeks.

On Friday, July 27, 2001, Nigel had left to go to a "team-building" exercise at the Zoo. We had just had a checkup that morning with our perinatal specialist and everything was looking terrific. All the kids were measuring over 2 lbs, which was great for triplets just at 28 weeks.

I had been laying on the bed, just resting after the gigantic lunch we ate after our appointment, when I decided to get some more ice water -which I craved like I now crave chocolate and Bugles and Cheez-Its. I heaved my legs over the side of the bed and felt a small *pop* and felt wetness. I threw myself into the floor to avoid getting the bed all wet (stupid priorities!) and felt it running down my leg. I grabbed the phone and went to the bathroom.

While sitting there, I first called my dr., who told me to get to her affiliated hospital as quickly as I could so they could test the fluid and see if it was amniotic (like there was a chance it wasn't - :roll: ). I told her about Nigel and where he was and that we couldn't be there for at least an hour. She said fine. I then called my mom. Bad girl! I still haven't told Nigel that I called my mom before I called him. My mom started packing. Then I paged Nigel and he called me back right away on the cell phone of a woman in his group. I told him to come home right now and what had happened.

He arrived in about 20 minutes, probably lucky he didn't get a ticket, since it normally takes about 35 minutes to get to the zoo. I had packed a small bag, just in case, and we took off.

We got to the hospital in another 25 minutes and found our way to where my dr. was waiting. They tested the fluid and found that it was amniotic. They did ultrasounds and found that The Princess's sac had ruptured, but the boys were still enclosed. They hooked me up to three fetal monitors (external) and told me to stay calm. As if!!!

An hour or so later, my dr. came to tell us that since there were not three beds available in the NICU, we would have to be sent elsewhere in case delivery was unavoidable, but that they were going to try everything they could to prevent delivery. The monitors were showing occasional contractions, but nothing big - I had had a couple of contractions per hour for a few weeks. They wanted to make sure The Princess's sac was refilling itself as it leaked and to try to find where the rupture was - the closer to the cervix, the more likelihood of infection for her. They gave me Magnesium Sulfate, which gave me horrendous hot flashes for hours, but would hopefully stop any contracting. They also gave me a steroid shot to develop the babies' lungs more quickly in case we had to deliver. Two more steroid shots would be required, but they didn't know where I'd be by then. My dr. drew little marks with "A", "B", and "C" on my belly where the babies were located so that her records would make sense when she had to fax them to another facility.

My dr. came back about another hour later and told me that Hospital B was full and Hospital C was full, so they would be flying me to Hospital D. Nigel could go to, as long as he didn't take anything. Within minutes, we were being unhooked from this and that and being rehooked up to this and that and were whisked by ambulance to the airport for a LifeFlight to Hospital D. It was one of the most terrible things I've ever experienced. Besides being frightened out of my mind, I was nauseated and contracting. Poor Nigel was just sitting in the tail of the plane wringing his hands and trying to smile at me a lot. He had called our families before we left. The plane was hot and the Mag Sulfate didn't help that at all. They had to inject Phenergan to keep me from barfing all over their pretty plane.

Good Times!

Part Two to follow

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